This post is for you whether you are a blogger, you aspire to own a blog one day or you own a website.
Blogging is fun; It is enlightening and profitable. What most beginner bloggers don’t bargain for, however, is the hours of hair-tearing, confusion and frustration that goes on when technical problems occur down the road, like when your site crashes or hackers attack. To prevent – or manage – these technical issues, you will need to implement the 5 tips I will share with you in this post.
One thing beginners discover when they launch a blog is, there is so much to learn in so short time. There’s way too much information. As a result, some things are taken for granted, some decisions are tabled for a later time and mistakes are made that prove very costly later.
The tips I share with you in this post must not wait. They are actions you must take the moment you decide to put up a site. If you already have a blog, I still suggest you carry out these actions right away. They will save you a lot of trouble and money in the long run and they hold true whether you run a blog, eCommerce site, company website, etc.
Choose a reliable web host
This is one of the most important first decisions you will make as a blogger. I suggest you consider this very carefully because your web host could make or mar your entire efforts.
The first time I crashed my blog (I made a mistake that wiped my entire blog files), I had instant access to my web host support system and they helped me restore my database backup in under 30 minutes. Without access to support, things could have turned out quite differently (and badly) for my blogging journey. This is one the reasons having a reliable web host is so important.
I use iPage web host – their service delivery and customer support is amazing. This article explains the different things you should look out for before choosing any web hosting company.
Beef-up your site security
The second most important action you should take immediately after launching your site is to beef up security.
Most people wait till they are attacked before they add extra security measures to their site. Recovering from an attack is not funny at all; there is no reason to wait till it happens. Here are some of the actions you can take now to protect your site:
- Strengthen your password. Don’t use a password like ‘heaven123’ or your birthday. Use a password that combines uppercase and lowercase letters, characters and numbers. Make it long and very hard to guess.
- Enable brute force attack protection. Brute force attack is a trial and error method used by application programs to decode encrypted data such as passwords. JetPack (a free wordpress plugin – totally awesome) has a feature you can enable to prevent a brute force attack.
- Install a security plugin like iThemes Security. Most security measures can be manually implemented but having a plugin makes the process easier and faster.
Schedule Regular Backups
If you don’t have backups of your site, I suggest you create one right away. Running a site/blog is not all smooth sailing and making money – there are bad days too.
In an earlier post, I shared an experience about when I crashed my blog (erroneously wiped off my entire files). Yours might not be that bad but it is something you definitely don’t want to experience. When you back up your files, recovering from a crash takes only minutes.
There are free plugins like BackWpUp or Updraft that automates the backup process. You can schedule hourly, daily or weekly backups depending on how frequently your update your blog.
Use Child themes
If you blog on WordPress, I suggest you use child themes. When you create a child theme, it inherits all the features and functions of the parent theme. This allows you to modify the child theme without altering the parent theme.
Why is this important?
Designers and developers come up with theme updates all the time. If you are using the parent theme and there is an update, every modification you make on the parent theme disappears. Using a child theme allows you to update the parent theme and still keep your changes.
Also you can play around with your child theme knowing that if anything should go wrong, you fall back on the parent theme and start over. Creating a child theme is not difficult at all. I used a free plugin, Child Theme Configurator, and it worked perfectly.
Get familiar with your file manager
While this is not threatening, you need to get familiar with your web host file manager.
I broke my site once because I used codes that did not work so well with my theme. Nothing I could do worked to restore my site – I couldn’t even access my WordPress dashboard to make any change.
To solve the problem I had to go through my web host file manager, manually deleted the theme and reinstalled it. Doing it myself saved me some money. Now I know how to navigate my file manager and get whatever I need done.
I have to admit, not everyone is tech-savvy. So if you don’t understand files and codes, I suggest you leave this one for the techies.
If this post is helpful, consider sharing it every blogger you know.